Friday 13 July 2012

National Youth Circuit Championships Report

Louis and Frank line up for the start of the U12s National circuit race.

National Youth Circuit Championships Report - Cyclopark, Gravesend Sunday 8th July 2012

On Sunday it was the national championships for all of our youth riders. Me (Isaac), Bede, Logan, Frank, Louie, Mostyn, Stanley and Alex all competed. On the day it was lashing down with rain, making the tarmac very slippery and dangerous and the course even more technical! 

Stanley plows a lone furrow up to the finish line

The first race was Stanley ‘s in the under eight’s. After his usual gutsy ride he eight out of twelve starters but was held back by badly rubbing brakes, who knows how fast he could have gone with the brakes off!?

The CCH camp next to ELV and LVYCC
The guys getting their numbers on prior to warming up.
Bede heading up the CCH contingent in the U12s.

 The next race was under twelve’s with Bede, Frank, Louie, Logan, and me. It was arguably the wettest race of the day causing a lot of crashes .It was so wet they even cut off half of a corner near the bottom of the circuit due to severe flooding. 

Frank rides the Cyclopark canal

Logan and Isaac in the lead bunch

The sprint for the line

We all got off to a good start but just after completing the first lap the early leader’s chain snapped causing him to swing out narrowly avoiding Theo but then taking me out, fortunately I got a lap out. It then came down to the second last lap where I tried to move up to stay out of trouble, it didn’t work! The rider in front of me went over causing me to go straight over the handlebars and fly through the air. I eventually finished seventeenth. 

Whilst I was crashing Bede and Logan were doing well staying in the bunch until the sprint, proving their bike handling skills. In the sprint Logan got a very respectable seventh whilst Bede got (an unlucky) thirteenth.  Theo should have got second but was disqualified because his gears were apparently over the ratio and the ratio was 46:16 the British cycling recommended and the same as Bede and I! We were all gutted for him.

Mostyn enjoying the fact the rain had eased off before his race.

 In the under fourteens race our only rider was Mostyn, no Ned because he missed the entry cut off time. The bunch set off at a roaring pace already dropping many riders. Unfortunately Mostyn had to drop out after a few laps because of a back \breathing problem. In the end Dan Tullet took it in a long three hundred meter sprint.

Our final race of the day was the under sixteen’s .The only rider representing us was Alex McKerrell. As usual he put in a beast of a ride managing to come sixtieth out of a huge field, Louis Modell also managed to put in a great ride coming 25th. Overall it was a hugely successful day for CCH and I would just like to thank Neil, Liz, Harry, Anna, Fergal, Colin, Nicole, Justin and Mr McKerrell for the support.

Report -  Isaac Costley

Alex McKerrel adds -
 On Sunday 8th July, I rode the Youth National Circuit Championships at the Cyclopark in Gravesend. I drove over with my dad and arrived two hours before the race began. I signed on and did a gear check, making sure everything was perfect after Theo's DQ earlier in the day. I then started my warm up with Louis Modell from ELV. It was time to race! I thought it would be a better idea to have a longer warm up then getting a good position (which I now regret), as they left us standing around for ages, which meant my warm up was wasted and I was in the second last row!
I got a great start and moved up a couple of rows by the first corner. During the second lap, I moved up to about the first half of the bunch in the second lap- so far so good. Then, after a touch of wheels two people went down in front of me. I grabbed the brakes and just hoped for the best. Luckily, I had a soft landing but was still tangled up in bikes and bodies. I went over to the pits, got a lap out, got a push and after a lap long hard chase (the lap out was rubbish!), I finally joined the peleton who were now travelling at around 30mph.
I had already burnt most of my matches and there was still 14 laps to go! Adding to that the fact I was at the back of the group ( meaning I had to sprint hard out of every corner), I was on the edge. I blew up after 5 more laps with the group, and eventually rolled in with the second group, most of whom were caught out in the earlier crash. I rolled in a disappointing 60th place. 

But it's not all bad - I've now learnt that positioning is key if you want to do well, as the back of the peleton is a bad place to be. As my dad says, there's always next time.

Anyone doubting the severity of the conditions should check these photos out of the finishers... 

... Bede and Logan coming up for air

... Frank feeling the burn...

... Louis - no photos please!
Didn't get one of Isaac as he had to rush off to get his wounds treated.

Full results, report and more photos here.

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